Ivy's Reviews > The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
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Dec 28, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

The Lovely Bones is the story of a teenaged girl that looks after her family--from Heaven. That is the only spoiler I can give because it would be impossible to write a review without that piece of information. Susie Salmon is a typical 13 year-old girl growing up in suburban Pennsylvania in the early 1970's. Her life is tragically cut short and the remainder of the novel is Susie's thoughts and feelings about no longer being a part of her family in body, but in spirit. We journey with Susie as she witnesses her family's despair when she is missing; to their heartache and grief when it is obvious that she will never come home; to their falling apart in the months after her death. She is present to witness everything that is said, thought and felt---she follows her family, her friends, and her murderer.

Alice Sebold is on to something fascinating in this story, but I don't think it ever really takes flight. I found myself putting this book down often and not picking it up again for weeks. I can't put my finger on it but it left me somewhat dissatisfied. It seems that Sebold had a really great idea for a story but didn't really know what to do with it. Often she would start an interesting idea and then get carried away with a discriptive passage. This happened so often that I found myself skipping ahead to pick up the thread once more. I wanted Susie and her family to find closure, as well as her friends, but the events just didn't flow as smoothly as they could have. The most gripping part of the book comes when Susie watches her sister try to uncover the mystery behind her disappearance and how she puts her life in peril to find evidence.

I think the book got muddy because Sebold couldn't decide if she was writing a story about a murdered girl and catching the killer, or if she wanted to write about life after death and those dwelling in it. The main plot often got lost in details and didn't really have a clear purpose. It is unfortunate because Sebold was on to something very engaging if only she could have thought it through better.

B- read.
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12/10/2009 page 127
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message 1: by Ivy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ivy Fulfills VBC reading category: Read a book and then donate it to a charity; 50 pts.


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